Contributed by Cable Griffith / While making this work, I’ve tried to remind myself, and hopefully others, of the fundamental connection between everyone and everything. Nature is one word for it. Quantum mechanics describes an aspect of this connection on the particle level as “entanglement.” But we see much larger and more obvious expressions of the push and pull that results from this connection through increasing societal and environmental consequences. Despite the tension that rises from these connections, I wanted to represent some aspect of the beauty and promise I feel when reminded of this underlying fabric. For me, harboring this awareness feels both cosmic and intimate.
This flip-flop between the tangible and metaphysical is something for which painting is well suited to describe. I’ve always been captivated by a painting’s ability to exist both as a clunky dumb object and a magical portal to another place. Paintings can point to a “here” and “there” simultaneously. Considering this, I wanted to make paintings that began with a wholehearted embrace of the canvas as a fabric, with all of its unique imperfections.
I used a Shibori dye-technique to reveal a grid folded from the canvas’s own dimensions. Then, I added oil paint over a clear sealant, building off of the dye patterns to suggest form and space. I became interested in how each painting held unique properties before the oil paint was even added. Successive painting decisions were built on this foundation, elaborating and continuing to “unfold” something that seemed to spawn from within the fabric itself. The resulting paintings represent a balance between the surface’s undeniable physicality, a longing for wilderness, and a touch of my own West Coast utopian fantasy.
“Cable Griffith: This, That, and Everything,” G. Gibson Gallery, Seattle, WA. Through October 14, 2017. Also on view: Robert C. Jones, New Paintings. The gallery will host an Artist Talk on Saturday, September 23, at 1pm.
About the author: Cable Griffith is a Seattle-based artist, curator, and educator who earned his BFA from Boston University and his MFA from the University of Washington. He has exhibited locally and nationally, at G. Gibson Gallery, SOIL Gallery, the Frye Art Museum, the Whatcom Museum, and Aqua Art Fair in Miami, among other art spaces. From 2007-10 he was the Exhibitions Director at Kirkland Arts Center and from 2010-2014 he was the Exhibitions Curator at the Cornish College of the Arts. Nominated for the Henry Art Gallery’s Brink Award and the Portland Art Museum’s Contemporary Northwest Art Awards, Griffith is a faculty member at Cornish College.